Cite this: eDIL s.v. ollam or dil.ie/33808
Last Revised: 2013


Forms: olloman, ollamh, oll-aimh, -amhan, -aimh

n [o ?], n, m. (< oll `great' Ériu xviii 54 ). d s. ollum, Ériu xviii 54 . g s. olloman, LU 302 , 361 . a s. (? d s.) eter ríg ┐ ollomain, 10306 . ollamh, IGT Dec. § 51 (g s. oll-aimh, -amhan ; n p. -aimh , -amhain; a p. -amha, -amhna). Both declensions are used side by side in late Mid.Ir. and early mod. texts, the o-st. being preferred in sing., the n-st. in pl.

(a) An ollave, the highest grade of `fili' (in O.Ir. ollam may have denoted an office as much as a grade of learning; later used to denote the grade alone, UR 91-94 ), Laws v 26.25 (ollum). filid oldam, anroth, clí, etc., ZCP v 499 § 7. secht ngrad filed .i. ollam, ansrut[h], etc., O'Mulc. 537. He was entitled to a retinue of 30, a number lowered to 24 at the Convention of Druim Cet in 590: no bid .xxx. i cléir cac[h] olloman, LU 302. ro dígbait iar sein a clíara .i. xxiiii. i cléir ind olloman, 361 . ollamh .i. oll a dhámh .xx.iiii., Corm. p. 33 = [o]lldam, Corm. Y 993 . His specific form of poetic composition was the `anamain' (`mór' and `bec'): anamna ollaman, IT iii 31.25 ; 59 § 112 , §113 . anamaín . . . is dán olloman, Corm. Y 39 ; cf. O'Dav. 1072 , O'Mulc. 537. An ollave was attached to the court of each of the provincial kings, often to those of sub- kings; and there seems (at some periods) to have been an `ard-ollam' who exercised authority over all the provincial `filidh'. int ollam filedh iarna uirdned ag rig tuath, Laws i 42 z Comm. ollamh Uladh Fercertne, TBC-LL¹ 5467 St. Gilla C. Ua Slebin ollum Ulad, Cog. 120.2 . ar ollamh nUladh, TD 3.9 . The inferior grades of `filidh' had to discharge various offices for the ollave, such as keeping his two dogs (task of the `cana') and fostering his children (that of the `drisech'); and the erenaghs (airchindig eclaisi) had to maintain his horses, H 3.18 p. 133 ( O'Curry 239 ). Among his functions, acc. to the same passage, was that of guarding the King from occult dangers: dlegar don ollam beith i fail in rig im snamad (leg. samain) dia snadad ar siabrud, ib. See further Heldensage 66 fg. In wider sense: am ollom, am gáeth, LU 10628 = IT i 141.5 (loquitur Sencha m. Ailella). ollam britheman, LL 29b21 . Later an expert in any art or science, a professor : ollam breithemhnachta Ua Failghe, AFM ii 888.18 . ollam Tuad- Muman re timpanacht, AU ii 510.18 (an. 1360) . ard-ollamh Ereann i ccruitirecht, AFM ii 1170.12 . ardollam a scribiund, RC xviii 193.13 (Tig.). ollamh legha Fer Manach `chief physi- cian', AU iii 346.8 (an. 1490). ollamh leighis Fearmanach, AFM iii 554 z . clann Chraith a ollamhain ré dán, clann Chruitín a ollamhain ré seanchus (of O'Brien, chief of Thomond), Keat. iii 179 . ollam cerda a master craftsman (of Daedalus), ZCP iv 238.26 . secht n-ollumain ghabhunn master smiths, Lism. L. 2931 . mur ollamh cuarta . . . nā mes misi do not count me a vagrant bard, ZCP ii 348.18 (late 16th cent.). Of a woman: ba hollamh i ngach eagna i, Ériu v 78.12 .

(b) chief : ollam ard … caide side? nï, amail [rond-gab] rí Connacht… 'a high o. … what manner of man is this? For example, the king of Connacht' Ériu xviii 49-50 (Míadṡlechta) . In early poetry used of warriors: mandrais arma athar ollam as a master he destroyed the weapons of his [grand]father Ält. Ir. Dicht. ii 7 § 4 (text uncertain). caine dind dem i foat ollomain (of the burial-grounds of warriors), ib. 20.6 (= ollo- mhan, LL 380a12 ).

As npr. in the name (prob. a title) of Ollam Fodla, one of the early kings of Ireland: dá mac la Fiacha Fínsgothach .i. Eochaid (qui et Ollam Fodla) ┐ Araidhe, Cóir Anm. 249. docer Ailderg Dóit . . . la hOllomain, MacCarthy 164 z ( LL 127b52 ). co éc Olloman, MacCarthy 166.3 ( LL 128a1 ). mac Ollaim Fodla , MacCarthy 296 k ( BB 12a35 ). is uime ghairthear Ollamh Fódla dé, do bhrígh go raibhe 'n-a ollamh i n-eagna ┐ i n-eolus ré reachtaibh is ré dlighthibh d'ordughadh, Keat. ii 2057.

Compd. ¤thairngertaid m. ollave-elect , Tromd. Guaire 224.